ABC News 10 Sept 2023 by Susan McDonald

University of Sydney professor Robyn Ewing says this works best as it allows teachers to use a range of different strategies and tailor them to each child.

“We need to start with the whole understanding that learning to be literate is about meaning-making,” she says.

“I believe phonics needs to happen in meaningful contexts, not just out on its own or first.”

Professor Ewing says using quality texts “right from the beginning”, and developing vocabulary and comprehension through sharing and telling stories together, are all important strategies.

“There are all sorts of other things: learning to make predictions is very important, learning to read the images that are in a text if it’s a picture book,” she says.

“All of those things need to happen simultaneously.”

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